Dixie has built a nice, quiet life for herself in the sleepy town of Siesta Key, a sandy resort island off the coast of Florida. In fact, her pet-sitting business is going so well she's even taken on part-time help: Kenny, a handsome young surfer who lives alone in a rickety old houseboat. But things get a little messy when, on an early morning walk in the park with a client's schnauzer, Dixie makes a shocking discovery.
The Cat Sitter's Pajamas | Blaize Clement | Macmillan
Hidden among the leafy brambles is a homeless girl, alone and afraid, cradling a newborn baby in her arms. Dixie takes the young girl under her wing, even though she's just been hired by Roy Harwick, the snarky executive of a multi-national oil company, to care for his equally snarky Siamese cat, Charlotte, along with his wife's priceless collection of rare, tropical fish.
It's not long before Dixie stumbles upon a dead body in the unlikeliest of places, and soon she's set adrift in a murky and dangerous world in which no one is who they appear to be. Smart, fast-paced and entertaining, The Cat Sitter's Cradle is a perfect illustration of why Dixie's loyal fans have come to know and love her and eagerly await the next installment of her adventures. Joyce had Henry the VIII on a leash, and they were both studying with intense curiosity something that was lying on the path. Joyce had squatted down low to see better, and Henry the VIII, being a tiny miniature dachshund, was already down low.
When Rufus barked again they both looked up, and their faces brightened in recognition. The whole place is less than four square miles, and probably at least one of those square miles is taken up by ponds and lagoons. Most of my clients are cats, with just a few dogs. In the Garden of Eden, the serpent was the only honest one.
Until about five years ago, I risked my life every day as a deputy sheriff, but after what you might call a bump in the road of life, I went a little nuts. Well, a lot nuts. There on the ground was a parrotlike bird with bright green wings, a red breast, a banana yellow beak, and a fluffy chartreuse crest that sat atop its head like a fringed helmet.
Its green tail feathers were easily three times the length of its body and looked like two long Christmas ribbons, gleaming with a violet iridescence. Lord knows the Key has practically every bird known to man.
Pelicans, parakeets, terns, plovers, spoonbills, egrets, herons—and those are just the ones you see every day. There are probably at least two hundred species of birds that make their way through the Key at some time of the year, so we might as well have a few resplendent whatchamacallits too. The ancient Aztecs thought they were gods of light and goodness, and it was considered a mortal crime to kill them.
It looks like some kind of parrot, but that long tail and those shiny feathers are a sure giveaway. And see the yellow beak? No, this is a resplendent quetzal alright. Not to mention hunters with pellet guns and kids with slingshots. Joyce had pulled off a white bandanna tied around her neck and laid it on the ground beside the bird. Maybe it got blown off course in a hurricane or something.
Rufus pulled on his leash and pointed his nose at the brush beside the trail; he had probably had enough talk about dead birds. There was a short bleating sound, and for a moment I wondered if a baby goat had somehow wandered into the bushes. The sound came again, and Rufus bounded toward it. I was right behind him, but this time I knew: It was not a goat. I circled the end of a line of bushy bougainvillea and jerked Rufus to a stop.
The Cat Sitter and the Canary: A Dixie Hemingway Mystery
A dark-haired woman lay on the ground looking up at us with terror in her eyes. She clutched a newborn baby to her chest. A long umbilical cord trailed from the baby into a dark red pile of blood-soaked leaves. Joyce ran to look, then silently tilted her head back and closed her eyes. They sat side by side without a whimper, as if they knew something very important had happened in the human world. As soon as I pulled my phone out of my pack, the young woman on the ground started to cry.
I dialed as I knelt beside her and put a gentling hand on her shoulder. We need an ambulance. Joyce knelt down beside the girl with her sweatshirt ready to swaddle the baby. Our eyes met. The man was treated, but instead of releasing him, the hospital contacted immigration and the man was deported back to his own country.
He had a family here, and a job, but none of that mattered. His life was destroyed, and his family was left to fend for themselves. For a second, Joyce looked as devastated as I felt.
Then every fiber of her body seemed to firm up, and I remembered that in her former life Joyce had been a marine. She stood up and brushed off her shorts decisively. For a split second, my mind wandered off, probably to avoid what was about to happen. I should really keep a former marine with me at all times, I thought to myself. But then my eyes followed her gaze from the tiny newborn down the umbilical cord to the dark mass of blood and matted leaves lying on the ground.
It eventually just falls off, right? We have to. We sat there for a moment as if frozen in time. Three women brought together by some perverse twist of fate, huddled over a tiny wriggling bloody baby, with no one to witness but the squirrels, the birds, and a couple of dogs tied to a maple sapling.
Rufus and Henry the VIII lay side by side, watching our every move with rapt attention, like spectators at a tennis match. Added by 3 of our members. Author Blaize Clement has thrilled readers everywhere with the first six books in her pet-sitting mystery series. Now Blaize's beloved heroine Dixie Hemingway is back for another adventure, and she has her hands full when the worlds of celebrity hijinks, counterfeit fashion, and naughty cats collide. Dixie Hemingway, no relation to you-know-who, accepts a job taking care of famous linebacker Cupcake Trillin's cats, Elvis and Lucy, while he's away.
But what seems like an easy job turns scary when Dixie finds a celebrity fashion model in Cupcake's house. The woman refuses to leave AND she also claims to be Cupcake's wife.